Is someone trying to give you a political pitch? Be particularly suspicious if the persuader is local or is like you in some other way. Research shows that you can be more easily manipulated by people who resemble you. So if the doorbell rings and it’s someone just like you, trying to pitch you some political position or some product, watch out! You might well be the target of a sophisticated, research-based marketing campaign.
Either way, the research is valuable. But let’s remember that, as political scientists, our ultimate audience is the general public, even if in any given study we might be teaming up with some campaign or group of activists.